A circular for Property Purchased Fast was received on 21 October 2016. One side showed the company name and logo "Property Purchased Fast". Text stated "Sorry we missed you". Underneath was a reference number which appeared to be handwritten, then the text "Could you please contact us - Can you please call Adam [appeared to be handwritten] on 0161 XXX XXXX or [mobile number, which appeared to be handwritten] ... We want to offer you a FREE Valuation on your home. We are a genuine property fund looking to purchase homes in your area regardless of condition or price. We Can [sic] offer you - Up to 100% of the Value for your home - FREE Valuation - FREE Legal Fees - No Estate Agency Fees - A time scale [sic] to suit you - Any condition accepted - 100% Regulated - Five Star Costumer [sic] Rating - Discreet and confidential [all with a box next to them which appeared to be hand ticked]". More text stated "Regulated by the Property Redress Scheme. We are also registered with the ICO (Data Protection)”.
The second side of the circular was divided into three boxes, headed with "Reasons why hundreds of home sellers are turning to us"; "HOW IT WORKS"; and "WE DEAL WITH 100'S OF HAPPY CUSTOMERS EVERY MONTH!" respectively, containing explanatory text or testimonials.
Two recipients challenged whether the ad was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.
Property Purchased Fast believed the circular was marked sufficiently clearly with their company name "Property Purchased Fast", a reference number, and telephone numbers and a contact name. They cited the text on the front of the circular that stated "We want to offer you a FREE Valuation"; the list of services in the box headed "We Can offer you"; the reference at the foot of the front side of the circular to Property Purchased Fast being regulated by the Property Redress Scheme and registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office); the inclusion of their registered postal address; and, in highlighted text, their website address. On the reverse of the circular, they cited more explanatory text which referred to obtaining a valuation free of charge; the testimonials from previous customers; and again text which stated their postal address and website address. They believed these elements made the nature of Property Purchased Fast's business and/or the purpose of the circular clear.
The ASA noted that the circular used a similar colour of red to cards that informed householders that it had not been possible to deliver an item of post. However, the prominent text "Sorry we missed you" did not refer to delivery. We considered it could be taken to mean that a caller with a business purpose had been unable to obtain an answer, rather than that it had not been possible to deliver an item of post. We noted that the logo "Property Purchased Fast" appeared alongside, and that the section that followed included the text "We want to offer you a FREE Valuation on your home". We considered those elements established that the circular was likely to have a business purpose. That was reinforced by the list of services ("FREE Valuation - FREE Legal Fees - No Estate Agency Fees," etc.) which appeared in the box underneath, and the explanatory text, testimonials from previous customers, inclusion of Property Purchased Fast's website address and references to the Property Redress Scheme and ICO that followed. If the consumer saw the second side first, they would see a list of features and professional services that were being offered and an explanation of how the valuation process worked, which we considered suggested there was a commercial rather than non-commercial reason for the circular. We concluded, therefore, that the circular was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication and that it did not breach the Code.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 2.1 2.1 Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such. (Recognition of marketing communications), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.